“Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman. These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale”
These moving words are taken from Scott’s diary and sit at the base of the life-size bronze embodiment of him. The bronze memorial was sculpted by his wife, Kathleen Bruce, and sits atop a 3 metre tall stone plinth in Waterloo Place, just off Pall Mall.
On his first major expedition, on board the Discovery, he discovered the Antarctic Plateau, and on his second he reached the South Pole, on 17 January 1912. But he lost the challenge to be the first to get to the pole, as Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and team got there five weeks earlier. Sadly, a greater defeat then came his way: many difficulties on the return journey led to the death of him and his companions just 150 miles from their base camp.
The Discovery was made in Dundee and is now harboured there and open for a fascinating visit. You can also read more of Scott’s diary online here and can visit the excellent Polar Museum in Cambridge.
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 19 August 2018
Posted as part of Thursday Special